It was an amazing day outside in Chicago! My friends and I went to a baseball game, stopped for Chinese pastries in China Town, and walked around the park. Unfortunately the pleasant day turned to frustration and disgust once we arrived at Reggies Chicago in the South Loop, a bar and grill with a great stage for live music. This bar and grill’s slogan is we’re not happy til you’re not happy. Well boy did they deliver on their promise because by the end of this meal no one was smiling 🙁. It’s actually hard to find a bad restaurant in Chicago, but Reggies was my first awful dining experience in the Windy City.
We went to Reggies to grab some drinks and food to end the evening, hoping to sit on their rooftop patio. As we entered the bouncer gave us all a mean scowl and asked what we were doing. Hmmm I wonder what a group of friends would be doing at a bar on a nice sunny day? Probably loitering or causing trouble right? I told him we were trying to grab some drinks and food, and asked if the rooftop was open. Unfortunately the rooftop was closed so we rounded up some chairs to sit on their outside patio.
We then looked over the menu and were ready to order. However, after waiting around for about 25 minutes no one had come to take our order. I noticed that other tables had a lack of a server as well and the table next to us with a cute puppy (the dog was probably the best thing about this dinner) told us to expect slow service. At that moment we should have just left but we made the mistake of going inside to ask for a server. The evening took a turn for the worse at that point.
Our waitress came over and said she was just finishing up with her shift, but since no one else was working the patio she said she would stay longer. It was a nice gesture that ended up meaning nothing in the end, as throughout the night this waitress seemed high as Wiz Khalifa, confused orders, forgot to bring out drinks, and just seemed downright pissed off at life in general.
We decided to order our drinks and food all at once in hopes that the food would come out faster. This strategy failed miserably. The drinks took about 20 minutes to come out and the waitress forgot to bring waters. My friend Andy probably asked the waitress at least 5 times throughout the course of the meal for water until it finally came in the very end.
Fast forward another 30 minutes. Our waitress comes out and tells us that our food should be coming out shortly, but that there was a mix up in the kitchen. After another 10 minutes a plate of food finally came out! But it was a plate of fries that we didn’t even order. Before we could tell our server otherwise though she zipped away like she was the superhero the Flash. We all decided that we deserved these fries and dug in. Now fries are pretty hard to fuck up as they require very little prep, effort, and time to make. These fries were dreadful. They were soggy as shit, had no seasoning, and seemed undercooked.
After trying the fries the food finally came out after about an hour, except my burrito was nowhere to be found. Again before I could let her know that my burrito was missing, she must have transported to another dimension as I had to wait 10 minutes before she came back outside. After letting her know of my burrito’s non-existence she kind of just shrugged and told me she could take it off the check. “Cool but am I going to get some form of edible food?”, I thought. I asked her how fast the burrito could be made and she just stood there for a few seconds, maybe doing some sort of crazy algorithm in her head to determine the speed that this elusive burrito could be prepared. She then told me that she would put a rush order in for it and that she would take it off the check.
Meanwhile as I watched my fellow companions eat their food I heard my friend Andy, who ordered some tacos, say “Oh no, oh no!” His face was scrunched with disgust as he had dipped his tacos into a brownish sauce that looked to be an attempt at mole sauce. He told us that we all shouldn’t eat this “mole” sauce, but that got us all curious as to what this vile substance tasted like. So one by one we tried this sauce and each had a similar “holy shit this is not just bad, this is one of the worst fucking things I’ve ever eaten in my life” reaction. Normally when food is bad, it’s just not that good but it is edible. This sludge or guck or whatever it was is and never will be eatable. The sauce tasted like something that may come from a sewer or landfill (not that I know what sewer juice or old garbage tastes like, but that’s what popped in mind as I tried to wash away the horrendous taste from my mouth with the water that finally came just in time). It was truly putrid, revolting, and repulsive. I think Andy’s quote sums up this “mole” sauce from hell quite nicely.
“That mole was the subprime mortgage crisis of sauces. You’d never expect something so seemingly pleasant to turn out so foul.” – Andy Edelmen
After our gross experimentation with this vile substance my burrito finally arrived. But after trying that sauce and hearing from my friends that the food was pretty bad I wasn’t feeling too hungry. I took a few bites of my burrito. It was poorly wrapped, the meat was cold, and it was about 75% flavorless beans. I decided it would be in my best interest not to carry on eating because I was legitimately afraid of food poisoning after trying the “food” at Reggies.
After waiting around for another 10 or so minutes we were able to flag down our waitress for our check which of course was a whole process as well. She came back another 10 minutes later with the check, but she forgot to take my burrito off. Part of me thought, “Just let it be.” But damn it I didn’t want to pay for shit service, a pile of manure burrito, and the foul sauce that came with it. I let her know that the burrito was still on the check and she gave me a mean scowl as if I was asking her to jump off a cliff. Begrudgingly she said she would take it off the check and came back in record time with the updated check, 5 minutes! We then paid and get the hell out Reggies, agreeing it was the worst meal we have had in Chicago so far.
Remember folks that I am rating this establishment on their drinks, food, and service. The later two were so incredibly bad that there was no avoiding the worst rating possible. However, I have not been there for a show, to drink on a night out, or on their rooftop to enjoy a few brews with friends. So if you want to grab some drinks with your crew or see a show, Reggies may be a perfectly fine spot for you to do so. Nevertheless, I would highly recommend that you stay far away from their food and only go there for beverages and music, because I’m not sure what I ate was food. And if it was food that “mole” sauce was without a doubt the worst thing I have ever eaten in my 24 years of existence on this planet. You have been warned!
-Michael Averbook, Foodie Extraordinaire